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[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

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 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Nudge
Cached
Kranky Records

Rating: 6/10 ?


May 23, 2005
From the Old French language, Cached is a word used to describe a place of concealing and safekeeping of valuables. While this album houses a plethora of trinkets and toys, each vibrantly life affirming in their delicate and dense textures, its contents will hopefully not remain a secret for too long.

Cached is replete with citrus sweet acoustic melodies which ostensibly exude an easygoing, drowsy mellowness, evocative of summer evenings on balconies overlooking parks pregnant with people. Adding a profusion of colors and timbres to what remains a quintessentially rhythmic conception, electronic currents linger, undermine and insinuate in these songs like wasps under the floorboards or mysterious noises from attics. The effort falls between a number of musical stools, but never pussyfoots around.

Nudge's approach is household enough: improvised work is subjected to post-production and editing, and lo and behold, a whole new animal dawns. Most amusing is its refusal to curb to the usual dogmas of the music it references (African rhythmic patterns, ambient sound sculpture and post-rock melancholia). The unbound passages sidestep the desiccated orthodoxies of academic improv in startlingly simple manners; repeating melodic motifs of Rhodes or organ appear in the midst of long sections of broken atonality. Others follow a delirious logic, each sound edged in at an odder angle than the last, driving the music in strange directions rather than being shoehorned into regular rhythmic or harmonic structure. Tension and drama are created after the fact by judicious editing, such as the moment when, after a brief hiatus, the musicians come booming back a trifle implausibly, but none less imaginatively.

The music refuses to settle for long in any one place. Cached is a consistently inventive flux of scraped guitars, springy, flailing drums and high-strung, jitter-bugging textures - noisy to a point, but substituting the shock tactics of the noise confrontationists with an enticing clarity and sensuality. Upon inspection, one finds wire-thin high frequency tick-tocks, chirrups and shrills that penetrate and irritate like mercurial stilettos or tinfoil migraines. When run together in the piece "No Come Back", however, they provide a gregarious burble of communion and purpose colored with a fecund and manifold vital presence.

With its willingness to indulge in styles from funk, to echoes of eastern percussion, smeared, scraped and treated trumpet and spangly lo-fi electronics, Cached emphasizes the incongruity of the various elements that comprise their work, making the ensuing awkwardness at the hub of their compositional technique. And, perhaps surprisingly enough, it works wonders. One wishes only that the work as a whole did not always side with the pleasure principle and instead stay in one place long enough to flesh out a particular idea or sentiment; it can be quite a busy-body.

To this end, "My New Youth" finds the trio relishing the density and opacity of low-resolution samples, reveling in the 8-bit fuzz and hiss that accumulates around a grimy synthetic string section. With the piece "Classic Mode", seductive synth and organ cut-up changes a slightly African sunny day shimmer into cavernous mind expansions, before seeping into mercurial, pastoral drift. Honey Owen's breezy voice, when it decides to peek its head above surface, is an instrument capable of real warmth. This being said, it too is often subjected to sonic roughing-up and wrapped in a sticky coating of distortion. More often than not, she starts a song pussycat-furry and ends it goggle-eyed and feral.

The disparate approaches to sound aside, Cached exhibits congruence and focus which makes it less a random thought tangent and more a glimpse into someone's serene spiritual muse. These works are intricate, dense and yet wholeheartedly engaging. Not an album for purists, a more instantly rewarding, exciting and accessible document would be difficult to find.

Reviewed by Max Schaefer
Nocturnal qualms and eyes that brim like lamps betoken slender sketches, poetry and short stories strewn alongside piano playing, a fiddling of knobs and murmured dialogue with a medley of electronic gizmo\'s. A twenty-one year old person lodged within the University of Victoria, Max harvests organic sounds on a sullen sampler, watching water unwind like two broad lengths of ribbon and nursing a book below the canopy of a cheery-tree. Max believes that the world is made present by people\'s presence in it and that art is one such way in which a distinctive disclosure might be crafted.

See other reviews by Max Schaefer

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